What is bulimia face?

Also known as bulimia cheeks or bulimia face swelling.

What is bulimia face swelling?

Bulimia face occurs when a person suddenly stops engaging in self-induced vomiting. Their salivary glands (located in front of the ears, aka the cheek area) may swell and cause the person's face to look swollen.

This swelling has also been called ‘moon face’ as the swollen salivary glands cause the cheeks to swell causing a circular face shape like a moon.

 People who suffer from bulimia often find this effect to be very troubling because it makes them feel like they have a fat face even though their faces are swollen only because of the effects of bulimia swelling.

What causes the face to swell during bulimia?

When the body is preparing to vomit, the salivary glands increase the production of saliva to lubricate the esophagus and mouth. Because bulimics induce vomiting multiple times a day, they are forced to produce excess amounts of saliva which causes their salivary glands to become over-stimulated. In order to keep up with the amount of work that is being asked of them, the glands increase in size.

Is bulimia face permanent?

No, it’s not permanent. After a prolonged period of regular eating, the salivary glands should return to their normal size. Once they are no longer required to produce excessive amounts of saliva, they can adapt and shrink.  In rare instances, however, the glands do not shrink after a long period of purging. In these cases, the only treatment option is to surgically remove part of the gland.

Many of the other damages done by bulimia are however permanent, these include heart, kidney or bowel problems, brittle bones leading to early osteoporosis, as well as bulimia teeth.

salivary gland bulimia face

My Bulimia Recovery Journey

If you’re reading this and you struggle with bulimia, know that you are not alone.

I struggled with bulimia for over 10 years, some days purging upwards of 15x!

I was desperate to recover but found that going to see psychologists was not enough. I needed concrete strategies but was incredibly frustrated by the lack of useful information and brain-based tools on showing me exactly HOW to recover.

Fast forward to today and I have been recovered for several years, and as an intuitive eating coach, have dedicated my life to teaching women all over the world how to recover too.

How did recover do it you might ask?

Well, to start, I used 10 strategic stop bulimia tools that I personally created. The tools changed and saved my life and now I share them with you.

What's included in the stop bulimia toolkit:

  • 10 of my top-rated stop bulimia tools that changed my life and the lives of my clients

  • A 33-page PDF guide with step-by-step instructions for each tool and strategy

  • A powerful explanation of WHY each tool works from a brain-based approach, education is empowerment and creates lasting change



This toolkit is NOT a substitute for getting help from health care professionals. I created this toolkit to support you in your recovery journey and it should be used in addition to not instead of treatment.

 Bulimia is a serious and life-threatening disease. Don't wait to get help. You don’t have to do it alone. 

 National Eating Disorders Association

  • Live Helpline: 800-931-2237  Hours (PST): Monday through Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm
  • For crisis situations, text “NEDA” to 741741 to be connected with a trained volunteer at Crisis Text Line.